Agronomy and Horticulture Department


Date of this Version



Soil Syst. 2018, 2, 57;



© 2018 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license


Unscientific land use and cropping techniques have led high soil erosion and degradation of soil quality in the mid-hills of Nepal. To understand the effects of land use systems for selected soil chemical properties in mid-hills, composite soil samples at 0 cm to 20 cm depth were collected from five different land-use systems: Grassland, forest land, upland, lowland, and vegetable farms from Dhading district of Nepal in 2017. Soil samples were analyzed for soil fertility parameters: Soil pH, organic matter (OM), total nitrogen (N), available phosphorus (P), available potassium (K) and its effect due to different land use systems were compared. Results showed that soil pH was neutral in vegetable farms (6.61), whereas the rest of the land-use systems had acidic soils. Soil OM (3.55%) and N (0.18%) content was significantly higher in forest, but the lowest soil OM (1.26%) and N (0.06%) contents were recorded from upland and lowland farms, respectively. Available P was the highest in the vegetable farm (41.07 mg kg–1) and was the lowest in grazing land (2.89 mg kg–1). The upland farm had significantly higher P levels (39.89 mg kg–1) than the lowland farm (9.02 mg kg–1). Available K was the highest in the vegetable farm (130.2 mg kg–1) and lowest in grazing land (36.8 mg kg–1). These results indicated that the land under traditional mixed cereal-based farming had poor soil health compared with adjacent vegetable, grazing, and forest lands among the study area. The variations in soil fertility parameters suggest the immediate need for improvement in soil health of traditional farmlands.